The Morning Mix

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– See, women stare too. Just checkout this video of a South Carolina trainer “undressing” Gamecock’s dual-sport star Bruce Ellington with her eyes

– Speaking of eyes, Rob Dauster provides a great-read on two Big East players who have battled back from serious optical injuries

I do like the work that Matt Norlander did here. He wants to know who will be the next legendary head coach to retire, following retirement of Jim Calhoun last week.  However, I will disagree with Larry Brown. Sure he’s a legendary coach, and sure he won a National Championship with Kansas back in the day, but his current role in college hoops isn’t significant enough to merit reference on this list

– Burn The Horse is a Arkansas-Little Rock hoops blog that never gets nearly enough attention. They note that the Sun Belt Conference is looking to make Atlanta, GA it’s permanent home for the postseason 

-John Feinstein still thinks Notre Dame got the short end of the stick in the ACC deal

-Does the Big East still contain the best hoops in the country? New commissioner Mike Aresco thinks so. It’s certainly debatable, but you don’t lose four high-caliber programs like Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia and Notre Dame, and not take it hit

– North Carolina State got some great news on Monday, as freshman phenom Rodney Purvis was cleared by the NCAA to participate

– North Carolina chancellor Holden Thorpe has resigned from his post in the wake of the major academic scandals taking place in Chapel Hill

– Critically-acclaimed author Tucker Max took part in the John Calipari Fantasy Camp. His review is pretty fantastic

– In order for Kevin Ollie to have success at UConn, the first year head coach will have to become a master of a few key areas

– Run the Floor ranks the best point guards in the SEC and ACC

Arsalan Kazemi is transferring from Rice. That is not good news for the Owls. The Iranian-born scoring machine was one of the best players in C-USA last season. He’s also the sixth Rice player to transfer out since the end of last season

– Billy Gilispie has been ordered to stay “stress-free” for 30 days. Yeah, because that’s really going to happen……

– Sad news out of Provo, UT yesterday. BYU sophomore forward Chris Collinsworth will undergo career-ending micro-fracture ankle surgery. This is the third straight year Collinsworth has had to undergo surgery

– Michigan State forward Kenny Kaminski is likely to miss 4-6 months due to shoulder surgery. The 6-foot-8 freshman injured his shoulder while playing against friends over the summer

– Speaking of Michigan State, sophomore Branden Dawson is speeding through recovery from knee surgery and feels like nothing ever changed

– Butler’s Chrishawn Hopkins will look to transfer schools in the wake of his dismissal from the Bulldogs program

– I love lists like this: All the transfers eligible this season at the mid-major level

– The top-10 draft prospects in the ACC, courtesy of Draft Express

Remember, if you find an article that is worthy of being in The Morning Mix, be sure to use the #ReadoftheDay hashtag on Twitter. 

Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.

DePaul adds 2018 commit

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Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.

Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.

DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.

Four-star guard Fisher commits to TCU

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Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.

TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.

“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”

Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.

Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.

 

Report: Izundu’s San Diego State transfer ban rescinded

Ernie Kent
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Washington State transfer Valentine Izundu will be visiting San Diego State after all.

Coach Ernie Kent has rescinded his restriction on the 6-foot-10 graduate transfer from visiting the Aztecs, according to a report from the Spokesman-Review, citing an anonymous source. Izundu will also be reportedly visiting Fresno State and UNLV.

Izundu had previously been barred from considering the Aztecs by Kent because of suspcisions of tampering. Izundu vigorously denied that was the case as at the center of the dispute was a trip he made to San Diego for spring break. He publicly said he did not have any contact with the SDSU coaching staff , though he attended an Aztecs NIT game.

Kent, though, appears to have relented, as many coaches who have similarly faces public pressure in such situations before him have. In this era where so much attention is being paid to player rights and welfare, there only seems to be growing public sentiment against programs restricting transfers beyond the absolute bare minimum is rarely going to go over well. It may make things more difficult for coaches and programs, but it’s the deck is largely already stacked in their favor in most every other instance.

Ex-Michigan State player Keith Appling faces weapons charges

Keith Appling
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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) Authorities say former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling faces charges including carrying a concealed weapon after he was found in possession of guns and marijuana in suburban Detroit.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 24-year-old Appling was arrested outside a Dearborn club on Sunday night. Club security called police after seeing a man pull a gun from the trunk of a car.

Prosecutors say Appling was in the driver’s seat of the car when police arrived. Officers found a handgun under the driver’s seat, a loaded weapon in the trunk and a small amount of suspected marijuana.

Weapons and marijuana possession charges were announced Wednesday.

The court says he doesn’t have a lawyer on record.

Appling played for the Spartans from 2010-2014 and plays for the NBA’s development league.

UNLV transfer to finish career at Michigan State

UNLV forward Ben Carter, right, celebrates after his team defeated Oregon in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Las Vegas. UNLV won 80-69. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)
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Former UNLV center Ben Carter announced on Wednesday that he will be transferring to Michigan State to finish his collegiate career.

Carter, who began his career at Oregon, averaged 8.6 points and 6.0 boards in his one season with UNLV before tearing his ACL in late January. He spent two seasons with the Ducks before transferring to Vegas, which is why he’s eligible immediately for the Spartans.

And that’s the biggest reason that Tom Izzo and company targeted him.

The Spartans lost Deyonta Davis to the NBA Draft after one season, a fact that became an inevitability midway through the year but one that the Spartans didn’t necessarily plan for heading into last season. Carter isn’t going to be an instant impact kind of player, particularly not when he’s coming off of an ACL injury, but he is a big body and a veteran presence on a front line that wasn’t going have much of either.